Indian PM's announcement to build road in Lipulekh provokes outrage in Nepal

Written By: Saloni Murarka WION
Kathmandu Published: Jan 13, 2022, 04:58 PM(IST)

India-Nepal border dispute Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

During an election rally in Haldwani area of Uttarakhand on December 30, Modi had announced that his government has extended a road to Lipulekh and further expansion work is going on.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent announcement to extend the road in the Lipulekh region has provoked outrage in Nepal with many top leaders calling the ongoing construction ‘illegal’. 

During an election rally in the Haldwani area of Uttarakhand on December 30, Modi had announced that his government has extended a road to Lipulekh and further expansion work is going on.

Lipulekh, which lies at the tri-junction between India’s northern Uttarakhand state, China and Nepal, is claimed by Kathmandu.

Former prime minister and the senior leader of the CPN-Unified Socialist, Jhala Nath Khanal—one of the ruling alliances in the Nepal government—condemned the construction activity.  

“The Indian government knows very well that the area of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura are the sovereign territory of Nepal. Any development activity conducted there without consultation of the Nepalese government is totally illegal and it is a violation of our territorial integrity and national sovereignty,” he said in a statement. 

He requested the government to take necessary measures to “protect the territory”.

Also read | Former Nepal PM Oli says ‘will take back’ Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh territories from India

“Our party strongly condemns the ongoing road contraction by violating our security integrity and provocative statements on the part of the Indian leaders. We would like to request the government of Nepal to take necessary measures to protect our territory on the border,” the statement read. 

Similarly, the main opposition, Nepal Communist Party-UML, also issued a similar statement, calling for “ending such activities that violate the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and self-respect of Nepal”. 

The chief of the party’s foreign affairs wing, Rajan Bhattarai, urged the government to immediately engage in serious dialogue with India on the issue. 

Also read | Nepal issues new, controversial map showing Indian territory as its own

“CPN-UML unwaveringly believes that construction of roads and other structures should be stopped, the issue should be promptly resolved through dialogue and no structure should be built at the state level until resolution is reached through dialogue,” he said in the statement.

Bhattarai also raised concerns over the government’s silence on such serious issues that are related to the country’s territorial integrity.

The boundary dispute between the two nations erupted after India unveiled its new political map in November 2019.

Nepal protested after the Indian map showed Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of its own territory.

Though both sides have vowed to settle the boundary dispute through diplomatic and political talks and channels, no concrete bilateral negotiations have taken place yet.

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